2016 World Cup Of Hockey Roster Announcements (Rolling Post)

Feb 25, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) passes the puck with center Artem Anisimov (15) pursuing during the second period against the Nashville Predators at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 25, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) passes the puck with center Artem Anisimov (15) pursuing during the second period against the Nashville Predators at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2016 World Cup of Hockey begins in mid-September, but there’s plenty of news today surrounding the event. Each of the eight teams involved is announcing its initial roster, and three were already out to the public before 11 a.m. Central time. The eight teams at this year’s event, which is being held at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, home of the Maple Leafs, will start action Sept. 17 with a preliminary round that lasts through the 22nd. That’ll be followed by the semifinals Feb. 24-25, and the finals, which will feature a best-of-three series on Sept. 27, Sept. 29 and Oct. 1 (last date if necessary).

Before we get to the rosters, it’s important to note the eight teams, as two of them are very unique. In Group A for the event, we have Team USA, Team Canada, Team Czech Republic and Team Europe. In Group B are Team Russia, Team Finland, Team Sweden and Team North America. Now, you might say to yourself, “I thought the Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden and Russia were all part of Europe.” And you’d be right, but for the purposes of this tournament, Team Europe will feature players from birth countries outside those four nations. By a somewhat-similar token, Team North America will display top players of the U.S. and Canada who are 23 years old as of Oct. 1, 2016.

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It should be a very interesting tournament, although I’m sure there will be a fair number of players who would much rather rest after long Stanley Cup playoffs runs than play more hockey right before the start of another regular season. Still, it’ll be a spectacle. The initial rosters are just the beginning, too, as each team’s 23-man roster must be completed by June 1.

With all that information in hand, let’s look at the rosters already released today, as well as when other rosters are expected to be announced.

Team Russia

Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Columbus Blue Jackets

Semyon Varlamov, G, Colorado Avalanche

Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, Tampa Bay Lightning

Dmitry Kulikov, D, Florida Panthers

Artem Anisimov, F, Chicago Blackhawks

Pavel Datsyuk, F, Detroit Red Wings

Nikita Kucherov, F Tampa Bay Lightning

Nikolay Kulemin, F, New York Islanders

Evgeny Kuznetsov, F, Washington Capitals

Evgeni Malkin, F, Pittsburgh Penguins

Vladislav Namestnikov, F, Tampa Bay Lightning

Alex Ovechkin, F, Washington Capitals

Artemi Panarin, F, Chicago Blackhawks

Vladimir Tarasenko, F, St. Louis Blues

Two members of the Chicago Blackhawks made the initial roster in Anisimov and Panarin. They’re also linemates, so it should be interesting to see how they’re utilized in World Cup play. Overall, this initial roster is very strong offensively, but could certainly use some help on the defensive and goaltending fronts. In goal Bobrovsky has dealt with a bevy of injuries in recent seasons, and Varlamov has not been very good. On defense, Markov is on his last legs, and Kulikov is a “meh” selection.

Team Finland

Tuukka Rask, G, Boston Bruins

Pekka Rinne, G, Nashville Predators

Olli Maatta, D, Pittsburgh Penguins

Rasmus Ristolainen, D, Buffalo Sabres

Sami Vatanen, D, Anaheim Ducks

Esa Lindell, D, Dallas Stars

Mikko Koivu, F, Minnesota Wild

Jori Lehtera, F, St. Louis Blues

Aleksander Barkov, F, Florida Panthers

Mikael Granlund, F, Minnesota Wild

Jussi Jokinen, F, Florida Panthers

Valtteri Filppula, F, Tampa Bay Lightning

Leo Komarov, F, Toronto Maple Leafs

Joonas Donskoi, F, San Jose Sharks

Lauri Korpikoski, F, Edmonton Oilers

Teuvo Teravainen, F, Chicago Blackhawks

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Teuvo’s recent run of happy hockey events keeps growing, as Team Finland has given him a lot of respect by placing him on its initial roster. There are a lot of “bad team” representatives here, although that certainly doesn’t mean the players are bad. Team Finland is building around solid blue line and goaltending units, which is usually a good way to make sure you go far in any international tournament.

Team Czech Republic

Petr Mrazek, G, Detroit Red Wings

Michal Neuvirth, G, Philadelphia Flyers

Ondrej Pavelec, G, Winnipeg Jets

Radko Gudas, D, Philadelphia Flyers

Michal Kempny, D, Avangard Omsk (KHL)

Roman Polak, D, San Jose Sharks

Andrej Sustr, D, Tampa Bay Lightning

Michael Frolik, F, Calgary Flames

Martin Hanzal, F, Arizona Coyotes

Tomas Hertl, F, San Jose Sharks

David Krejci, F, Boston Bruins

Ondrej Palat, F, Tampa Bay Lightning

David Pastrnak, F, Boston Bruins

Tomas Plekanec, F, Montreal Canadiens

Vladimir Sobotka, F, Avangard, Omsk (KHL)

Jakub Voracek, F, Philadelphia Flyers

The Czechs were first to break into Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League for team members, although Sobotka has seen previous time in the NHL. Right now, Team Czech Republic is definitely the weak group, as its early defensive choices are nothing impressive. The goaltending is also fine, but certainly not earth-shattering (when you have to add Pavelec, things are far from perfect). The forwards are the strongest group, but there are and will be much better groups in the event.

Team Sweden

Henrik Lundqvist, G, New York Rangers

Jacob Markstrom, G, Vancouver Canucks

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Arizona Coyotes

Victor Hedman, D, Tampa Bay Lightning

Niklas Hjalmarsson, D, Chicago Blackhawks

Erik Karlsson, D, Ottawa Senators

Niklas Kronwall, D, Detroit Red Wings

Anton Stralman, D, Tampa Bay Lightning

Nicklas Backstrom, F, Washington Capitals

Loui Eriksson, F, Boston Bruins

Filip Forsberg, F, Nashville Predators

Gabriel Landeskog, F, Colorado Avalanche

Daniel Sedin, F, Vancouver Canucks

Henrik Sedin, F, Vancouver Canucks

Alexander Steen, F, St. Louis Blues

Henrik Zetterberg, F, Detroit Red Wings

Team Europe

Frederik Andersen, G, Anaheim Ducks

Jaroslav Halak, G, New York Islanders

Zdeno Chara, D, Boston Bruins

Roman Josi, D, Nashville Predators

Dennis Seidenberg, D, Boston Bruins

Andrej Sekera, D, Edmonton Oilers

Mark Streit, D, Philadelphia Flyers

Mikkel Boedker, F, Colorado Avalanche

Leon Draisaitl, F, Edmonton Oilers

Jannik Hansen, F, Vancouver Canucks

Marian Hossa, F, Chicago Blackhawks

Anze Kopitar, F, Los Angeles Kings

Frans Nielsen, F, New York Islanders

Tomas Tatar, F, Detroit Red Wings

Thomas Vanek, F, Minnesota Wild

Mats Zuccarello, F, New York Rangers

Team North America

John Gibson, G, Anaheim Ducks

Connor Hellebuyck, G, Winnipeg Jets

Matt Murray, G, Pittsburgh Penguins

Aaron Ekblad, D, Florida Panthers

Seth Jones, D, Columbus Blue Jackets

Ryan Murray, D, Columbus Blue Jackets

Morgan Reilly, D, Toronto Maple Leafs

Sean Couturier, F, Philadelphia Flyers

Jack Eichel, F, Buffalo Sabres

Johnny Gaudreau, F, Calgary Flames

Dylan Larkin, F, Detroit Red Wings

Nathan MacKinnon, F, Colorado Avalanche

Connor McDavid, F, Edmonton Oilers

J.T. Miller, F, New York Rangers

Sean Monahan, F, Calgary Flames

Brandon Saad, F, Columbus Blue Jackets

Team Canada

Corey Crawford, G, Chicago Blackhawks

Braden Holtby, G, Washington Capitals

Carey Price, G, Montreal Canadiens

Drew Doughty, D, Los Angeles Kings

Duncan Keith, D, Chicago Blackhawks

Marc-Edouard Vlasic, D, San Jose Sharks

Shea Weber, D, Nashville Predators

Jamie Benn, F, Dallas Stars

Patrice Bergeron, F, Boston Bruins

Jeff Carter, F, Los Angeles Kings

Sidney Crosby, F, Pittsburgh Penguins

Ryan Getzlaf, F, Anaheim Ducks

Tyler Seguin, F, Dallas Stars

Steven Stamkos, F, Tampa Bay Lightning

John Tavares, F, New York Islanders

Jonathan Toews, F, Chicago Blackhawks

Team USA

Ben Bishop, G, Tampa Bay Lightning

Jonathan Quick, G, Los Angeles Kings

Cory Schneider, G, New Jersey Devils

Dustin Byfuglien, D, Winnipeg Jets

John Carlson, Washington Capitals

Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers

Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild

Justin Abdelkader, F, Detroit Red Wings

Patrick Kane, F, Chicago Blackhawks

Ryan Kesler, F, Anaheim Ducks

T.J. Oshie, F, Washington Capitals

Max Pacioretty, F, Montreal Canadiens

Zach Parise, F, Minnesota Wild

Joe Pavelski, F, San Jose Sharks

Derek Stepan, F, New York Rangers

Blake Wheeler, F, Winnipeg Jets

So what do you think of the initial rosters for each of the eight 2016 World Cup of Hockey teams? Let us know in the comments section.